St Ciarán’s reach first MacLarnon decider

February 26, 2017

Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup Semi Final

From Kevin Kelly in Ballinderry

St Ciaran’s Ballygawley 0-17 St Louis Ballymena 2-8

St Ciaran’s Ballygawley are through to their first ever Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup final after winning a competitive encounter with St.Louis Ballymena at Ballinderry on Saturday afternoon.

The Tyrone lads were the better side early on but a punched goal from impressive midfielder Ronan Kelly enabled Ballymena to turn around with their noses in front, 1-4 to 0-6.

St Ciaran’s levelled matters on the re-start before they had a great chance to open up a gap when they were awarded a penalty. But Caoimhin O’Donnell sent the spot kick wide.

It didn’t knock his confidence though as he landed a few points on his way to a personal haul of 0-6 as St Ciaran’s set up a St Patricks Day showdown with Our Lady’s Castleblaney.

O’Donnell, Pascal Donaghy and Tomas Hoy put St Ciaran’s into an early three point lead before Kelly opened St.Louis account. Hoy and a brilliant effort from Darragh Canavan stretched the winners’ advantage but then St.Louis hit back.

Kelly pointed before the same player got on the end of a Conor McAuley delivery to punch the ball to the net to level matters. O’Donnell edged St Ciaran’s back in front but efforts from Aaron McNeilly and Kelly saw the lead change hands before the interval.

A Kelly free opened the second half scoring but a superb brace from midfielder Daniel Millar had the sides level before O’Donnell scuffed his 35th minute penalty after Hoy had been fouled.

Kelly and Donaghy traded points before O’Donnell gave his side a lead that they were never to lose with 20 minutes left to play. O’Donnell then converted two frees as well as adding one from play but St Louis got back into the game three minutes from time with a goal from substitute Darragh Fegan.

Only the minimum separated the two sides at that stage but St Ciaran’s weren’t to be denied with Donaghy, Cormac Donnelly and substitute Pauraic McNelis all on target on a day when all but two of their points came from play.

St Ciaran’s Ballygawley: P Traynor, M Lennon, Conor Quinn, D McCrudden, Callum Corrigan, Cathair Quinn, Cathal Corrigan, J Oguz, D Millar (0-2), P Donaghy (0-3), C Donnelly (0-2), C Traynor, T Hoy (0-2), C O’Donnell (0-6, 2f), D Canavan (0-1).

Subs: J Murray for McCrudden, P McNelis (0-1) for Canavan, J Doyle for Hoy

St Louis Ballymena: E Elliot, S Madden, M Carberry, C Kinsella, O Campbell, T Quigg, S Convery, R McGarry, R Kelly (1-5, 3f), L McCann, C McAuley, L McKernan, A McNeilly (0-2), C Doherty (0-1, 1f), S Elliot.

Subs: R Griffin for Carberry, D Fegan (1-0) for Convery, R McLarnon for McAuley

Referee: K Faloon, Armagh